River Rocks and Cement

Even as a little girl I remember thinking these flower pots that Aunt Konnie had were so neat but for some reason I never thought to ask about them. Out of the blue while visiting Uncle Jerry and Aunt Konnie, Uncle Jerry told me they were made by his Grandmother and her sister. He said they would hitch up the horses and go down to the river to collect rocks and bring them back to the house and build these beautiful pots. They are unique and one of a kind and had to have taken a lot of hard work and patience to make. I’m glad that they are still there and that they get used. What a wonderful piece of family history for Uncle Jerry!


Fun Family Visit

We visited my Uncle Jerry and Aunt Konnie today. Dad, Mom, Drew and I. Aunt Konnie is my dad’s twin sister. They live just up the hill from a teeny tiny little town called Rubio. I have always loved visiting here. They have a beautiful farm and farm house. Aunt Konnie has such pretty flower beds and Uncle Jerry always has different fun animals to see. I remember staying with them for a few days during the summers. My sister and I and our cousins Terri Jo and Todd would spend a couple days with Grandma Ward in Richland and then a couple days in Rubio at Terri Jo and Todd’s. It was like a different world to me. Aunt Konnie didn’t work and Uncle Jerry was a farmer. He had crops and cattle and hogs. We would walk down to Rubio and get an ice cream cone and visit the Post Office. There aren’t any buildings left in Rubio besides the train depot and houses. The train depot has been kept up and we have attended many a family reunion there over the years.

For years we would celebrate Thanksgiving at Jerry and Konnie’s. Aunt Konnie is the best cook – everything was always homemade and delicious. We would have a turkey Uncle Jerry had hunted and all the traditional fixings and the most wonderful desserts. Then the men would spend the afternoon hunting pheasant and the women would make a craft. Usually something Christmas related. I can remember making Christmas tree pins out of cinnamon sticks one year and Christmas tree sweatshirts out of fabric yo-yos. Then we would watch the men clean the pheasants they brought home. Thanksgivings at Uncle Jerry and Aunt Konnie’s are some of my favorite holiday memories.

The weather was windy and warm but comfortable. We wandered around the yard and Drew got to see some of the animals. He played with the kittens and found an egg in the hen house. He got to pet their pet goose that follows them around outside. We checked out the flower beds and the garden then sat on the deck and visited and had root beer. It was a perfect afternoon and something we need to do more often.

Not What I Had Planned


I definitely have learned to roll with the flow! I had planned to really work hard on getting the house picked up and cleaned yesterday so I could concentrate on getting shave ice stuff ready when my product comes in. Instead, Drew and I ran to Walmart in the morning as Joe decided to have an office day. This afforded me the opportunity to take the truck and get Drew out of the house so Joe could work. In my defense – I did get 100 pounds of sugar to make the syrup for the shave ice.  That’s why the darn stuff is so good – it’s chock full of sugar! It’s not healthy but it is sooooo yummy! A great 4th of July treat!

While in Oskaloosa we stopped by Goodwill and Timeless Treasures. We wandered around both stores and looked and looked. I found a couple of old pictures frames and Drew found a Tonka truck to keep in the camper. Then we ran through Taco John’s drive through and brought lunch home for Joe.

When we got home Joe had decided the afternoon would be a good time to go over to Dad and Mom’s and put steel up on their carport. So off to their house we went. Things didn’t go quite as planned and we didn’t get the job finished. But we did get one side done and part of the other so it won’t take long to finish. If the weather cooperates we’ll be doing that this evening.

I’ve pumped a lot of water with this old hand pump. The water comes out so nice and cold. Most times a frog would come out too! The water isn’t fit to drink but we always used it to water flowers. It’s fun to watch kids pump it now. They are fascinated with seeing the water come and they think it’s fun. I’m thankful we don’t have to rely on these old pumps for our water anymore – especially in the dead of winter! I’m also thankful there are still some around. A little glimpse into the past.

Now I’m off to shower and get ready to spend the afternoon with Dad and Mom and Drew visiting Aunt Konnie and Uncle Jerry. They live just outside of a tiny little town called Rubio in this beautiful old farmhouse that I love. I’m hoping to be able to take lots of pictures although the weatherman is calling for rain. They have ducks and geese and chickens and kittens and goats and you never know what else you will see. Uncle Jerry likes to go to the exotic animal sales and bring things home. It’s always an adventure!

Our Weekend

Drew and I spent last Saturday outside. All day. I worked on trying to clean up outdoor furniture cushions. I’m afraid they’re on their last leg but I’ll get one more year out of them anyway. Until we get a roof over the pergola there’s no sense in worrying about getting new ones. My patio furniture is old, hand me downs from my sister actually, but they are in good shape and I plan on keeping them but at some point new cushions will be in order. So, for now I scrubbed them in a mixture of warm water, Borax and dish soap. At least they smell clean even if they don’t look the best!

The rest of my day was spent watching Drew play while I worked on some baby hats for the new grandbaby, doing chores, and trying to start a fire in the fire ring. We never did get that fire going. It is fun to watch Drew play. His imagination is amazing and he loves being outside. He can spend hours with his Tonka trucks, his sandbox and a bunch of rocks. Or even without the trucks. Just give him a bucket and he’s happy. Although his choice of “toy” at the moment is the wheelbarrow. He goes around picking up sticks and pulling weeds and hauling them to the ditch in his wheelbarrow. He thinks he’s playing – I’m thrilled to have sticks picked up and the weeds gone!

Joe spent the day competing in a cook off benefit for the Clear Creek Catholic Church. The church as been closed for a few years but a group of people work together to keep the church and the grounds up. They still hold weddings and other events there. It’s out in the country and is a beautiful setting. It’s great that there are people willing to donate their time to keeping this beautiful historic place going.  He left the house at 3:30 a.m. and didn’t get home until sometime after 7:00 p.m. He and two friends were on a team. They had to grill ribs, chicken hind quarters and a brisket. Joe took on the brisket even though he’s never done one before. There were 12 teams in all and he placed third. He was happy! Now he needs to fix one for home so we can taste it!

Sunday was busy. We ran to town to get a few groceries. The yard needed mowed so Joe worked on that. I spent the day getting ready to sell shave ice over the Fourth again. Pulling everything out of the trailer, washing everything up, organizing and seeing what products I needed to order. I had to get rid of a few flavors because they had expired so Eric helped me decide on what to replace and what new flavors to order. It was a productive day. We ended up at Dad and Mom’s for homemade ice cream later and we had a nice chat sitting outside in their backyard. Drew helped Grandpa chore before we headed home. He loves to spend time with Grandpa and Grandpa enjoys him! It was a nice quiet evening.

Mom’s Gift

Isn’t this the cutest flower container! My mom made it for me. She isn’t really a crafty person but she has a great love and talent for flower gardening so this craft was perfect. She made one for me, one for Abby and one for Aunt Konnie, my dad’s twin sister, who is battling cancer right now. I will treasure this gift that mom took the time to make for me and will find the perfect spot for it every year in my yard.

We’re Going To Be Grandparents Again!

To say we are excited is an understatement! We’ve known for awhile but weren’t allowed to tell – anyone! They are having a girl and we couldn’t be more happy. It’s been a few years since we’ve had a little girl in the family. Abby was the last! We LOVE our boys but it’s time for a change! It is going to be so fun and we can’t wait! The due date is December 6th – the day before Eric’s birthday so of course  Eric wants her to be born on the 7th. But Braxton came early so this one might too. Baby’s are so fun!

On Iowa – Go Hawks!

This was taken from the truck – the window was a little dirty!

Well, college orientation is in the books. My head is swimming with information after the past two days! I have to say, orientation is a lot different with boys than with girls. Eric just takes it all in stride. Doesn’t get worked up. Doesn’t stress. Which is nice. He seems to be excited for this next step in his life. He loves to learn and I think he’s going to really thrive in the college environment. I’m hoping he will jump in and get involved and enjoy all aspects of college life during his time here. It’s exciting to see all these young adults so excited to start on this new journey!

Eric signed this Herky! You find them all over Iowa City. This one is for the Class of 2021.

For years Eric said he was going to Iowa State. All his clothes are red and gold. Grandma made him an Iowa State quilt. His bedroom is done up in Iowa State. Then, this past year he changed his mind and was going to UNI. Then, at the last minute he decided on Iowa. He applied and was accepted at all three but decided Iowa offered everything he wanted. I know he made the right decision but it’s still a little strange to think of him as an Iowa Hawkeye!

I’m hoping to be able to get some better pictures of the campus at some point. We didn’t have much time for wandering around this time around. Joe and I were able to eat here on the River Terrace today. We spent the two days in this one building. Eric got to visit many different buildings and was on the other side of the river at some point.



Back To Belva Deer


We headed out to Belva Deer last Friday to camp with Dad and Mom. Joe got home late Thursday and was just too tired to hitch up the camper to head out then. We spent Friday getting settled in and Drew spent the day making friends with the little neighbor girl and later the two boys across the way. They had so much fun riding bikes and drawing with sidewalk chalk. Camping and kids just go together and it’s fun to see these little ones make friends so quickly and have so much fun. This is one of the reasons why we camp. The kids learn to make friends with whoever is around and they have so much fun.

It was looking like a good possibility there would be storms coming through the area Friday night so we decided to go home to sleep. Better safe than sorry right? Of course, since we didn’t stay at the campground it didn’t storm! But, if we hadn’t gone home we wouldn’t have seen the hundreds of fireflies. They were absolutely beautiful. When we got home, I went and stood under the oak trees and just watched them. I have never seen so many fireflies in my life and never in the trees like that. It was breathtaking to say the least.

Saturday was a quiet day of relaxing. We took some walks and went on some bike rides and were basically just lazy all day. It was so nice. Abby and Braxton visited in the afternoon and stayed for supper. We sat around the fire and when it got dark we went for a walk to see the fireflies again!

Sunday for Father’s Day Eric and my sister Beth came out. We had a nice lunch and enjoyed each other’s company. It was another nice relaxing camping weekend spent with family. Lots of memories made!


Stuck In A Rut

I seem to be stuck in a rut. This happens once in awhile. I don’t want to stitch. I don’t want to crochet. I can’t think of anymore signs I want to paint. I’m in need of a good book or series to read. I have this desire to be doing something but I just can’t put my finger on what it is I want to be doing. I know this will pass. It always does. I just wish I could figure out what it is I have a “need” to be doing!

Drew is not stuck in a rut – he stays busy from sun up to sun down. We have dinosaur families all over the house right now!

Joe will be home today. Hurray! He’s been gone since Monday. We have t-ball tonight and we’re camping with Dad and Mom at Belva Deer starting today through Sunday. Then Monday and Tuesday will see Joe, Eric and I in Iowa City for college orientation. Not sure I’m ready for that but it’s coming whether I’m ready or not! The University of Iowa. A big place. Scary to me but Eric is looking forward to it. It will be fun to get a closer look at the college. Then three t-ball games next week to end up the season and it should be nice and quiet around here for awhile. I’m definitely ready for that.

He made what he calls a “spikey ball” today. Pretty cool!

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

We were needing rain so badly. It’s been hot and dry and windy here. The wind helps with making the temperature bearable but it also dries things out faster. We came home last night from Drew’s t-ball game covered in a film of dust. The corn in the fields is looking good but is really needing water. I had started watering my tomatoes and cucumbers, which I hate to do. The grass has even started to turn brown. I’ve stopped hanging my clothes out on the line, the dust from the gravel road is so thick – I didn’t want dusty coated clothes. But today we got some rain! Yeah! We so needed this!

A few pictures of the yard after the rain:

This area of the yard usually doesn’t look like this until the end of July/beginning of August.

I’ve let some milkweed grow in the flower beds – they are a favorite with the Monarch Butterflies.